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Nutritional Needs For Breast-Feeding Moms

Nutritional Needs For Breast-Feeding Moms

A breastfeeding mom needs a lot of nutrient-rich food to keep herself away from any stress-related issues or diseases. The right nutrients boost the health of my “little charmer”, and myself. 


More often than not, lactating mothers worry about the right kind of nutrients they should take for the healthy production of breast milk. Stop being anxious and read on; as you will get to know the exact nutrient needs that serve the purpose of keeping your “bundle-of-joy” healthy. In short, as per my personal experience, the nutritional status of a mother directly influences the quality and quantity of her breast milk. The extra demand for nutrients helps moms with secreting an adequate quantity of high-quality breast milk while safeguarding their health. 


The ten commandments of nutrient needs for breast-feeding moms, such as myself: 

Hydration is a must: It is no doubt that breastfeeding dehydrates a mother’s body. So, it is advisable to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water. Hydration gets provided through fresh juices, milk, and soups as well. However, refrain from the use of caffeinated drinks including coffee, tea, and chocolate drinks. 


DHA: The DHA from mother’s milk help babies improve their psychomotor development. Some of the major sources of DHA include cod-liver oil and various types of fish varieties. It is essential for the infant’s brain development. 


Iron Content: Including pulses and legumes in the mother’s food fulfil all additional demands of breast milk. Other foods with iron content include green leafy vegetables, eggs, and watermelon among others. 


Calcium and Vitamin D: We all know calcium facilitates bone development and Vitamin D is a vital amine that helps infants grow their immunity. Calcium is present in milk and its products. These include cheese, paneer, yoghurt, green leafy vegetables, and ragi. Vitamin D sources include egg yolk and fatty fish along with morning sunlight. 


3 Nutritious Meals a day without skipping breakfast: Breastfeeding drains out a mother as the process uses up calories. These make breastfeeding moms hungrier than usual. A balanced diet is required, which includes 3 nutritious meals without ever skipping breakfast. Some of the best snack options include nuts, fruit smoothies, veg rolls, sandwiches, and fruit platters. 


Limit excessive sugar and fat content: It is wise to cut down on food items with excessive fat and sugar such as potato crisps, chocolate cake, and soft drinks. They have very little nutritional value, which does not do any good to a lactating mother’s health. 


No alcohol or smoking: The consumed alcohol passes quickly onto the breast milk and can affect the baby’s health. Common nutrient needs for breastfeeding moms include avoiding tobacco products and smoking as these can interfere with the health of both mother and baby. 


Avoid Dieting: Although dieting is said to improve one’s health, undertaking this process during the breastfeeding period will drastically reduce the quantity as well as the quality of breast milk. Moderate exercises like walking or swimming help mothers maintain their weight during the breastfeeding period. 


Proteins: Protein requirement increases during the lactation period and supports the rapid growth of the baby. The foods inclusive of proteins are eggs, milk, milk products, chicken, fish, pulses, and legumes. 


Galactagogues: In India, herbs such as methi seeds, jeera, dill, and special preparations of methi laddu, almond halwa, laddu, dried ginger burfi, and various recipes using green leafy vegetables are recommended for enhanced breast-milk production while improving the lactation process. Certain herbs and spices like fennel, ajwain, and garlic helps with proper digestion and avoid colic pain in babies. 


Now that we know about the ten commandments of nutrient needs for breastfeeding moms, a proper diet plan needs to be designed to keep track of the entire breastfeeding process. A routine plan is made and followed as designed. It helps in keeping both the mother and baby healthy as long as possible. 


Nutritionally speaking, seasonal fruits such as apples, grapes, pear, melons, and bananas always provide moms with the apt nutrients. Vegetables like carrot, tomato, cabbage, cucumber, and beetroot are nutritious to all breastfeeding moms. 

Newborn baby sleeping in the hands of the mother and the nose collided Free Photo

A fun fact: During breastfeeding, the variety of foods in the mom’s diet helps the baby in appreciating a variety in both flavour and taste. 

Replenishment of vitamins and minerals becomes a necessity for all lactating mothers, including me. Vitamin A is a key element for boosting immunity and obtaining a clear vision in babies. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and fenugreek are rich in Vitamin A. In the case of Vitamin C, Amla is a gold mine of this nutrient. Folic Acid helps with cell multiplication. Vegetables such as cluster beans, spinach, peas, broccoli, and tomato consist of folic acid. 

While there is no specific diet that a breastfeeding mother should follow, a healthy routine needs to be followed. The baby benefits from breastfeeding, especially for the first 6 months. While a healthy and nutritious diet fulfils the needs of both mother and child, certain additional supplements need to be taken for following a health regimen, which improves the immunity in babies and lactating mothers. Although breastfeeding moms have their nutrient needs, the person might be allergic to certain food items. This is where additional supplements become a necessity. These should be provided under the expert supervision and prescription of a doctor. 

A lactating mother and her family should make sure that she gets all the nutrients needs from the food she is fed with. Fulfilling these needs helps with keeping both the mother and the child healthy and happy. 


The ten commandments highlight the path through which essential nutrients get incorporated into a breastfeeding mom’s diet. This nutritional diet helps in the secretion of good quality breast milk in adequate quantity. The baby gets to taste different tastes and flavours through breast milk while acquiring immunity. It helps the baby grow healthily as well. Thus, these are the nutrient needs for breastfeeding moms like me. So, what are you waiting for? Just follow through and let us secure a healthy life for our babies. 

If you like to learn how this mother makes healthy nutritious food for her baby, click here!